Meet the estate version of Skoda’s best-selling car. Now in its fourth generation, the all-new Octavia has a fresh look and all the latest technology, but most of all – it moves the game on.
Longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, the Octavia Estate is available with a choice of efficient petrol and diesel engines, plus a brand-new plug-in hybrid (badged Octavia iV).
Priced from £22,210, the latest Octavia has inched upmarket and it’s now very close to the Golf in terms of the quality of materials used, equipment and overall finish.
There are various trim levels – starting off with the SE and finishing with the performance VRS. We’d suggest going for the mid-range SE Technology which comes with climate control, LED headlights, a 10.25-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ driver’s digital and a 10-inch central touchscreen with Columbus satellite navigation.
We tested the Octavia Estate powered by a 1.5-litre (badged TSI) petrol turbo, developing 148bhp. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, it’s capable of 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 139mph.
Skoda claims its CO2 emissions are as low as 130g/km with fuel economy as high as 49.6mpg.
As ever, if you spend much of your time on motorways and/or you run a company car, then the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel version might make more sense – it can manage up to 65.9mph, while CO2 emissions are as low as 112g/km.
Inside, it’s much the same as we’ve come to expect from Skoda – nothing to flash, but spacious, comfortable, intuitively laid out and well put together.
Our only slight gripe is that just about every control on the updated main infotainment system is accessed via a touchscreen. Fine for most things, but we’d prefer physical dials for heating – crucial in the winter.
On the plus side, there’s class-leading space in the back for adults, while the boot boasts a 640-litre luggage capacity, expanding to a massive 1,700 litres with the back seats flipped.
Naturally, the cabin is littered with handy storage spaces, plus there’s Skoda’s trademark umbrella in the driver’s door, plus smartphone pockets on the seat backs for rear passengers and an ice scraper mounted in the fuel filler flap.
Awarded a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, the Octavia is available with safety and driver assistance kit including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control and blindspot monitors, plus extra collision avoidance tech.
For instance, there’s Turn Assist (it detects oncoming traffic when turning left at a junction) and Exit Warning (it warns if a vehicle or a cyclist is approaching from behind when a car door is open).
On the road, the punchy and refined 1.5 TSI offers more than enough power for most, while the six-speed manual is pleasantly slick. There are Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport drive modes available, and you can have a bit of fun in the latter, but stick it in Eco on a long, relaxing motorway run and 50mpg+ is very achievable.
The Octavia’s ride is on the soft side, meaning that there’s a little body lean in tighter corners, but that’s a small compromise given the car’s impressive overall driving experience.
Add light steering, responsive brakes and a decent amount of grip, and it’s clear that this affordable all-rounder will continue to be a popular choice with buyers.
Verdict: The affordable all-new Skoda Octavia estate continues to offer a winning blend of space, practicality, comfort, economy and value for money. Now with cutting-edge tech and a sharper new look, it’s cemented its position as a class-leading family load-lugger.
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